Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Social Media And Social Conscience

One of the best uses of social media (in my opinion) is the ability of users to improve the world we all share. There is simply no better way to communicate a message these days than through social media. You can reach more people locally, nationally, international; by specific peer group, demographic or location.

So, with all this communication taking place, where is the good? Everywhere. In fact, companies like Chipotle which has a specific social message it wants to push, are using social media to reach the largest possible audience. But Chipotle isn't the only one. Local businesses, like Little Cupcake Bakeshop, and major industrial complexes like General Electric, are also using social media to improve their world.

Before you start feeling all warm and mushy inside it is important to note that there is an ulterior motive for all this socially responsible behavior. Studies have shown that consumers prefer companies who exhibit socially responsible behaviors. They don't want to buy shirts made in sweatshops, or buy their fuel from companies that pollute the oceans. They want to buy goods from companies that do good.

That is what makes social media such a powerful tool when it comes to self-promotion of the good things you do. Messages can be spread virally, reach farther and improve the overall positive feelings people have about your company, brand or service.

In fact, in my opinion, social media users are constantly looking for these types of positive stories to promote. They want to share good news with the people in their network and they aren't worried about where that good news comes from, so long as its good.

If you want to craft a social media message which stands the best chance of going viral, first think about the aspects of your business which promote your social responsibility. If you don't have anything which fits the bill, then perhaps it's time to create one. Look internally at your processes, or choose a socially responsible movement you can support and which fits the mission statement of your company. You don't have to "save the whales" to reap the benefits of a socially responsible message. Start small. Clean up a local river, promote volunteerism in your organization or start a campaign to raise money for a local food bank.

Unfortunately, in the world we live opportunities to do good, help someone in need, are more than abundant. They are ubiquitous.

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